UWE lecturer part of research team awarded £2 million by AHRC

Issue date: 22 October 2013


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Dr Jane Andrews, Senior Lecturer in Education at UWE Bristol, is part of a 13 strong academic team that has been awarded a grant of £2 million by Arts Humanities Research Council (AHRC) to fund the project, 'Researching Multilingually at the borders of language, the body, law and the state'.

Professor Alison Phipps of the University of Glasgow will lead the project, which aims to research and interpret translation and multilingual practices in challenging contexts, whilst developing appropriate research methods and theoretical approaches to this type of academic exploration.

An international team of researchers with different disciplinary backgrounds, research experiences, languages and performance skills will conduct comparative research on translation and interpretation at borders across the globe. The team will then use the information gathered to develop theory, ethical practices and methodologies in relation to multilingual research.

As well as investigating five unique case studies in law and mental health, on the borders of Romania and Bulgaria, in rural Arizona and in the Gaza Strip, the researchers will consider the different methodologies in play when multilingual research is undertaken from different disciplinary perspectives. Through Pan African Arts Scotland they will also work with the arts as a language of research and representation of those aspects which are unsayable, with a final artistic production being developed drawing together the themes of the research, working with Tawona Sithole, artist and playwright.

Dr Jane Andrews, says, “This project provides a unique opportunity for researchers across disciplines to investigate and share processes and practices of researching multilingually. A distinctive feature of the project is the arts and performance dimension which will enable us to reach out and communicate our findings in spaces and to audiences beyond the conventional academic groups.”

Alison Phipps, Professor of Languages and Intercultural Studies (Glasgow refugee Asylum and Migration Network - GRAMNET), said “For many who are in pain and under pressure, telling their story in their mother tongue is extremely difficult. Courts, border agencies and other parts of the state that interact with refugees and those seeking asylum, often use crude mechanisms that means much is lost in translation.”

The project will run for 3 years, starting 01 April 2014.

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